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Publication in France:
07 June 2018

208 pages

This Evening the Moon Was Round

Arnaud Riou

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Arnaud Riou serves up a debut novel of self-discovery which involves listening to one’s heart and rediscovering one’s purpose in life.

Thomas is a second-rank actor striving for a career in keeping with his ambitions who has been in a relationship with Céline for several years but is incapable of committing himself. He seems to be every bit the loser who is shirking his responsibilities. He chases after roles just as he chases after girls, hoping for a contract or a night of sex that will make him feel more secure for a little while. Trapped in his role of unlucky actor, of misunderstood genius, and of unfaithful partner, he knows deep down that he is missing out on life.

One evening at a theatre show, he bumps into Carmen Arteba, an actress with whom he acted many years previously, and the encounter is a revelation. Under the spell of this radiant woman, he lets the mask drop. Carmen discerns beneath Thomas’s frustration and cynicism a beautiful soul in search of itself and suggests he take part in a support group that she runs. A few days later on a night of the full moon, after an argument with Céline, who has told him that she’s pregnant, he storms out feeling completely lost and instinctively seeks out Carmen at her spiritual retreat in the countryside.

In the course of an intense immersion at the retreat, Thomas has various shamanic and mindfulness experiences which gradually enable him to revisit his past, to discover his true nature and to open up his heart. At the end of the retreat, he appears to have been transformed and is now ready to take the bull by the horns and take control of his own life – the only role that really matters. Will he be able to assume his responsibilities as a man and as a father?

Through Thomas’s quest, Arnaud Riou immerses us in a voyage of self-discovery which is punctuated by numerous rituals and exercises which he has himself explored and also invented over the course of the last 20 years.

More information in french